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[347] hundred arrived at Salem, where conscience was no
Chap. IX.} 1629.
more to be wounded by the ‘corruptions of the English church.’ They found eight or ten pitiful hovels, one larger tenement for the governor, and a few corn-fields as the only proofs that they had been preceded by their countrymen. The old and new planters, without counting women and children, formed a body of about three hundred, of whom the larger part were ‘godly Christians, helped hither by Isaac Johnson and other members of the company, to be employed in their work for a while, and then to live of themselves.’

To anticipate the intrusion of John Oldham, who was minded to settle himself on Boston Bay, pretending a title to much land there by a grant from Robert Gorges, Endicott with all speed sent a large party, accompanied by a minister, to occupy Charlestown. On the neck of land, which was full of stately timber, with the leave of Sagamore John, the petty chief who claimed dominion over it, Graves, the surveyor, employed some of the servants of the company in building a ‘great house,’ and modelled and laid out the form of the town with streets about the hill.

To the European world, the few tenants of the huts and cabins at Salem were too insignificant to merit notice; to themselves, they were chosen emissaries of God; outcasts from England, yet favorites with Heaven; destitute of security, of convenient food, and of shelter, and yet blessed as instruments selected to light in the wilderness the beacon of pure religion. The emigrants were not so much a body politic, as a church in the wilderness; seeking, under a visible covenant, to have fellowship with God, as a family of adopted sons.

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